The Tema Traditional Council has welcomed the government’s decision to place a temporal ban on fishing in the country’s waters.
Despite concerns by some fishermen and the Minority in Parliament over the ban which began this month, the traditional authorities at Tema has given it their blessing.
The Tema Mantse, Nii Adjei Kraku II led a delegation to visit President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday and told the President that his people “are happy for the ban.”
The purpose of the ban is to save some species of fish such as mackerel and anchovies which are going into extinction due to poor fishing practices.
The decision to place a ban on fishing was expected to take effect last year but due to concerns by some fishermen in the coastal communities of the four regions, the ban was postponed to this year.
However, other fishermen welcomed the decision, saying that it would allow regeneration of the dwindling fishing stock in the country’s seas.
According to the Tema Mantse, even though the ban would affect the fishing communities in Tema, the council believes that it was for the greater good of the entire fishing industry.
He also presented other concerns before the President, including issues relating to the acquisition of lands in Tema, the council’s representation on state organisations, particularly those established in Tema, the need for a new hospital, and dredging of the Sakumo and Kyemu lagoons.
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, expressed gratitude to the council for supporting the measures the government was taking to save the fishing industry.
“Since Tema is one of the most important fishing communities in the country, that support is important for us. We think that it makes for good understanding of what we are trying to do.
“What we are doing is to preserve the marine life of our country,” he said and added that if those measures were not taken, it would affect the fishing industry in future.
President Akufo-Addo said he was encouraged by the unequivocal support by the Tema Mantse and the Tema Traditional Council for the ban.
On the appointment of people from Tema into government, President Akufo-Addo said there were indigenes from Tema serving in his administration and expressed his readiness to appoint more capable people from Tema.
“The VALCO board is being reconstituted. That, for instance, provides us with an opportunity to appoint people from the Tema Traditional Council to the board,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo touched on the acquisition of lands in Tema and indicated that the Tema Traditional Council had made lots of sacrifices by giving out lands for the construction of fishing harbour, township, industries, etc.
He said there were no bare lands in Tema to be given back to the traditional authorities but expressed the government’s readiness to facilitate dialogue on how the traditional authorities could be supported.